During the past few weeks, I’ve read several interesting articles on the website http://www.Kveller.com: the inclusion of Santa Claus in the Macy’s Day Parade; the struggle that interfaith relationships (esp. with children) present relative to their respective families (esp. at this time of year); and how the sending of year-end holiday cards presents a predicament if I, as a Jew, choose to celebrate my holiday in the most traditional of manners.
I am reminded of how much I often struggle with my life choices, ideologies and beliefs, and how often I feel so alone in all of this, esp. as a Midlife Mother. The quintessential dilemma resides in the intersection and friction between personal beliefs/ideologies/choices and societal mores and “norms.” These articles remind me that I’m not exactly alone.
However, recent holiday experiences at Bed, Bath and Beyond, iParty, and several other stores bring home the point that I’ve lived with forever – that while there are many other religions and ideological beliefs in America, esp. in the Northeast where I reside, our society tends to live with the idea that we are all One. Therefore, the inclusion of (Christian) holiday music, the continuing reduction of Hanukkah items on the shelves, the repetitive customary send-off of “Merry Christmas” during this time and the notion that shopping malls must offer a resident Santa Claus remind me, on a daily basis, how truly antiquated and even insulting this is. We live in a land of diversity; a glorious melting pot. Why do we live as if we are a heterogeneous society reflecting One?
Which brings me back to Midlife Motherhood. While most of us would revel in our new-found older motherhood status, we must, at some point, acclimate to the comments, questions and stares, and find peace by knowing that we’re navigating unchartered waters singularly and, in many instances, in isolation. Adding aspects like minority religions, same-sex marriages and gender-identity call to mind the necessity for a tough skin and a constant checking-in of values, intended just to remain… true to oneself.